WEDNESDAY, August 1, 2012
Historic recital of Great Law nears By Stephanie Dearing OHSWEKEN
It’s only fitting that the teachings of the Great Law of Peace, which will get underway in Six Nations on August 10, begin by opening around a White Pine tree planted 22 years ago in front of the Gaylord Powless Arena, said one of the women who helped plant the tree. The tree was planted on Earth Day in 1990, said Jan Kahehti:io Longboat. The planting was “planned and led by the Iroquois Women’s Circle, now known as the Onkwehon:we Women’s Council.” Elders also participated in the ceremonial planting. Since then, “the small tree has now grown strong with its four white roots of peace extending in the four directions,” said Longboat in a prepared statement. She said she had “made a strong suggestion” to the organizers that the opening take place around the tree. Longboat said she feels “the spirit of the Great Tree of Peace has been waiting for this special time,” referring to the coming recital of
Jan Kahehti:io Longboat stands in front of a White Pine tree that was planted ceremonially in front of what had once been the old Six Nations community hall. The tree was planted on Earth Day 22 years ago, and has grown strong. “We did it the traditional way,” said Longboat. “We put two fish under it.” (Photo by Stephanie Dearing). the Great Law of Peace. “I thought it was appropriate to honour the tree now.”
When the tree was planted, participants contributed to a time capsule, which
Canadian Heritage supports Woodland Centre’s initiatives with funding Staff BRANTFORD The Woodland Cultural Centre received financial support from the federal government for the Planet IndigenUs Festival and for what is called the 1812 Whirlwind Conference. The announcement was made Monday by Phil McColeman, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. McColeman said the funding "will help increase public awareness and understanding of our rich Aboriginal cultural heritage." Planet IndigenUs, about to enter its third year, is billed as the largest multidisciplinary, contemporary, international Indigenous artist festival. Festival goers wishing to recharge can check out the International Marketplace and World Cafe in between dance performances, storytelling, visual art installations, musical performances and film offerContinued on page 5
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was placed under the tree. “Many community members placed sacred items in
the buckskin wrap to remind the coming faces of our inherent right to remain on
Turtle Island forever,” said Longboat. The last recital of the Great Law of Peace was 25 years ago, when Jake Thomas organized a recital that took place in Six Nations. This year, the recital is being organized by volunteers who meet “pretty much every night” in the old Council House, said Jagwadeth (also known as Chris Sandy), who acts as a spokesperson for the organizers. He has been travelling most weekends with three other men to other First Nation communities to deliver invitations to the recital. His 15 year old grandson makes the invitation wampum, said Jagwadeth. “We stop and visit them, invite them. Everybody’s happy about it,” said Jagwadeth. He said organizers anticipate as many as 1,500 people will attend the recital. The recital will be different this year, in that there will be a near-immediate translation into English. Six Nations Elected Council has committed up to $75,000 to support the initiative.
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